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UFC 211: Miocic vs Dos Santos 2

Who wins and how?   

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Adam - on Frankie vs Yair, you might be right. I'm certainly not writing off Yair. He shows a lot of promise and he has time on his side for sure. And in this fight, size too. He has some clear advantages. But it's still a fact that Edgar is a MASSIVE step up from anyone Yair's been in with in his career. And we really haven't seen him against a really elite wrestler either. So this is a serious test. 

Was Edgar vs Stephens that close? I know Stephens had him hurt badly but I still remember that by the end of the fight I was thinking there was no doubt Frankie had it. Frankie's eaten shots in a few of his fights and been hurt and dropped a bunch. And Stephens is probably the biggest hitter in the division so there was always that chance. 

Whatever. It's a fucking amazing fight, that's what it is. We'll see what happens. 

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finally got around to watching Embedded and i agree with everyone here...i don't want either guy to lose in the main event :(

Stipe: "Babe, i got me some awesome shit!"

Wife: "oh no"



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Even though Dos Santos went 25:00 with Miocic right after the third Cain fight, he hasn’t been the same since the end of the Cain trilogy. I think the JDS who had yet to take almost fifty minutes of punishment from Cain would have beaten the Miocic of 2014 a little more handily than he did and would have beaten the 2015 version Overeem with ease. JDS is clearly not what he once was. That’s not to say he’s shot or is otherwise ‘done’. But JDS simply hasn’t been as good as he used to be before Cain used him as a punching bag for close to fifty minutes. Stipe, on the other hand, has improved a lot. He survived a war with Hunt to finish the Samoan and then wrecked Arlovski, Werdum and Overeem, with all three wins coming inside a round. Since the first fight with JDS, Stipe is now faster, has better movement, and has improved all round. If you want to be generous you can say JDS is as good as he was when he first fought Stipe, but realistically, JDS has regressed since then. It might not be by much, but it’s enough for it to be not only noticeable but to give Stipe the decided edge, especially with Stipe himself having improved. I think Stipe retains by stoppage and I think he does so inside of two rounds, maybe three.

Joanna Jędrzejczyk vs. Jéssica Andrade promises to be a war. It just has to be with these two involved. It’s the speed and precision of Joanna against the raw power of Andrade. As good as Joanna undoubtedly is, and maybe it’s just me, but I haven’t been overly impressed with her since the Penne fight. She laboured against Valérie Létourneau, who she really should have handled with ease. The second fight with Cláudia Gadelha was a strong overall showing but there were moments where Joanna looked a little slow and sloppy. And as nice as Karolina Kowalkiewicz is to look at, she is another opponent whom Joanna laboured against when she should have looked more dominant. There were also moments where Joanna left herself open and was subsequently dropped by Karolina. Joanna was able to get back up, but if she leaves those openings against Jéssica and gets dropped, I don’t think she’ll find it as easy to get back up.

Jéssica, on the other hand, has looked great since dropping down to strawweight. She battered Jessica Penne, and put her away quicker than Joanna did. She mowed through Jo Jo with little resistance. And she gave Angela Hill a one-sided beating that Hill did well to survive, and Hill is a lot better than her rep and likeability suggests. Jéssica isn’t without weakness; she can fade and can get caught on the ground. Given that Joanna’s ground game is unknown but likely not to be as good as Jessica’s, I think that conditioning is where Joanna is going to win this fight. But Joanna may be at a disadvantage in that regard because it certainly looked like she had a very bad weight cut, and a bad weight cut can wreck havoc with conditioning come fight time. If Joanna really did have a bad weight cut, I don’t know that her conditioning will be enough to survive Jéssica’s early onslaught, which I think is the key to beating Jéssica. Joanna has had her chin tested but I don’t think it’s been tested like it will be in this fight, and that may be what, along with conditioning, this fight comes down to. Will Joanna have the conditioning to survive the early barrage and the chin to withstand Jéssica’s punches? I was picking Jessica to win by decision, although I was hesitant. But after the weight cut Joanna has appeared to have, I’m a little more confident in my prediction. Not that I’m entirely confident because this is a fight that could go either way, and I wouldn’t be shocked that if this does go the distance that any decision rendered is a contentious one.

Demian Maia vs. Jorge Masvidal is a lot simpler to break down. If it stays standing, Masvidal very likely wins. If it goes to the ground, Maia will almost certainly have his way with Masvidal. And whilst anything can theoretically happen in a fight, realistically, that’s how it’ll play out, so the outcome of the fight will centre on whether Maia can take Masvidal down. Masvidal can be taken down but it’s never been easy, although that’s generally been with double legs rather than the trips and more unorthodox type takedowns we’ll likely see from Maia, although he did get Carlos Condit down off of a single leg. If Maia is smart, and he usually is, he should be table to take advantage of an opening to trip Masvidal up and get him the ground. So it’s on Masvidal to not give Maia that kind of opening. And as the best strategy for that is for Masvidal to keep Maia at a distance, we might not be in for a very good fight, with Masvidal doing his best to avoid letting Maia get anywhere close to him likely leading to lots of backing up and pawing jabs. Maia could try and rush in and press things, but he probably remembers when he tried that against Nate Marquardt and won’t want a repeat of what happened there. Masvidal could likewise try to rush in, but it’s not worth the risk against someone like Maia, especially with the winner being in line for a title fight.

I think Maia vs. Masvidal is going to be cagey and methodical, perhaps even dull at times, and it’ll probably go the distance unless someone gets a flash finish out of nowhere. I’m picking Maia to win via decision but I would love to see him get the submission and cement his claim, not that he really needs to, to a title fight.

Frankie Edgar vs. Yair Rodríguez is a fight that will answer a lot of questions. This is a big test for Yair, as Frankie is the best fighter he’s faced so far. Yair has looked good but not great against some decent opponents, and whilst he obviously has potential, this may be a step too far for the 24-year-old. But for all the questions surrounding Yair, this fight may be won depending on the answer to a question surrounding Frankie; have his wars caught up with him? Frankie has been in some tough fights and whilst he looked great against Jeremy Stephens, at some point, it’s going to catch up with him. It happens to everyone in combat sports, and as they say in sports in general, you get old overnight. Has Frankie gotten old overnight? If he hasn’t, then he should win, despite giving up size and reach. Frankie was giving up almost as much size and even more reach against Charles Oliveira, but still defeated him because he was a far better fighter, and Frankie is the far better fight here as well. What could be the difference maker, though, are the kicks of Yair. He has great kicks and can land them from a mile away. Combine that with this possibly being the night that Frankie gets old, and Yair could pull off what would realistically be a major upset. And even if Frankie is as good as he ever was, Yair still only needs that one small opening and the right kick will put Frankie away. We saw what he did to Andre Fili, and if he lands a kick like that here, I think Frankie goes down hard.

I’m picking Yair to win, not necessarily because I think he’s the better overall fighter or that Frankie has gotten old, but because I think his kicks are going to be a big difference maker. Frankie has never faced someone with the kind of kicks and reach advantage that Yair has. I think Frankie may have trouble dealing with the kicks of Yair; not necessarily in taking them, more in getting past them to take Yair down, which is probably where Frankie’s best chance of winning lies. I don’t think Yair finishes Frankie but I think he gives him enough trouble to win this fight without putting himself in too much danger.

Krzysztof Jotko vs. David Branch is a fight I’m delighted to see get moved up the PPV. I’m big fan of Branch, who went on an absolute tear in the WSOF, winning their middleweight and light heavyweight titles, holding both at the same time. Branch is very good, very dangerous, and I’m excited to see what he can do in the UFC. Jotko’s no slouch and I don’t expect an easy fight, for either man, but I think Branch has more than enough to get past what will probably a difficult first round and get the win.

Eddie Alvarez vs. Dustin Poirier is a fight that I think will be a repeat of Alvarez against Pettis, with Alvarez using his wrestling to take Poirier down and control him there. Poirier is a hard hitter and Alvarez can be hit, so he’ll probably want to avoid getting caught up in a striking battle. And after getting cracked and dropped repeatedly by Conor, Alvarez also has the same issue that Frankie Edgar is going to face, either tonight or at some point in the future, where the wars he’s been in will eventually catch up to him. I hope it’s not tonight, not because I particular like Eddie, but because he’s assessment of the loss to Conor has been very honest and rather philosophical and I’d like to see someone like that rebound from a crushing defeat.

UFC 211 is going to be great. The only worry I have is that there is a possibility that a lot of people I don’t want to see lose are going to lose. In the main event, it’s guaranteed, which sucks. After that, fights involving people I want to see win are ones that could either way, so I’ll be apprehensive all night long.


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Not long finished watching the Countdown, Embedded and the Weigh In. 

I can't fucking wait for this now. Easily the most excited I've been for a UFC since 205. 


There's no way Miocic vs Dos Santos 2 will disappoint, is there? It's a KO either way or another 5 round war. The first fight was one of the best fights of 2014 and IMO one of the best heavyweight fights in UFC history. 

Ever since it was announced I've had a gut feeling that JDS is winning the title back. I don't know why as the reasons Noah gives above for Stipe winning are all good ones and I usually expect my favourites to lose. Logically, Stipe should be winning this one given his undeniable improvements and Junior's slight decline and inactivity. But maybe that's why I'm fancying a JDS win. There seems to be no logic when it comes to the heavies. It's the opposite of flyweight in that respect. They're so dangerous and so powerful that a fight can end any second from almost any blow or exchange. Whereas most flyweights lack that fight ending power have to really much more on speed and technique. Heavyweight fighting in general is such a hard thing to predict. And MMA it's even harder than with Boxing. So yeah, I won't be at all shocked if Miocic wins this. But I'm sticking with my gut and going with Cigano catching Stipe early doors. 

Dos Santos by KO - Rd 1 


Jedrzejczyk vs Andrade is another fantastic fight on paper. These two are just so much fun to watch I can't envision how two rights can possibly make a wrong here. Jedrzejczyk is a joy to watch. It's perversely entertaining to watch her destroy opponents in one sided beatdowns like the Esparza, Penne and Letourneau fights. And if the opponent can give her a fight like Gadelha and Kowalkiewicz did, it results in wars. And Andrade is all offence, all the time. She's great. I love that their styles are so opposite as well. JJ is all technique and combinations and Andrade just bulls forward like a tank and tries to knock heads off. 

You can't read much into weigh in crowds but they seemed to love Joanna. She got one of the loudest cheers at the weight in by far. She won the title in Dallas so I guess they remember that. 

Going Jedrzejczyk by decision 


Maia vs Masvidal was my ***one to watch*** in the OP and I'm staying with that. I don't think it'll be the FOTN but it's my one to watch purely because I think it's both a really intriguing clash of styles AND it should have title shot implications for the winner. That could go balls up though, depending on what GSP decides to do next. Really looking forward to it though. While they are both certainly mixed martial artists, at its basic core it's maybe the most high level grappler vs striker match we've seen in years. Ultimately, I think Maia will be effective enough with his grappling, for long enough to win on points. I don't think it'll be anywhere near as easy as some of Maia's recent wins and I can see Masvidal doing enough to avoid getting submitted, but I think it's basically going to end up looking a bit like Maia's fight with Gunnar Nelson. Again, won't be shocked if it goes the other way though. Masvidal looked great in stopping Cerrone, he's looked really good since moving up to 170 in general actually. But I don't think he'll be able to keep Maia off him long enough to really make his striking advantage count. 

Maia by decision 


Edgar vs Rodriguez is a killer matchup on paper, for all the reasons a few of us have gone into over the last page or so of this thread. I like both but I'm more of a Frankie Edgar fan. And those twats booing Frankie at the weigh in just solidified that I want him to win now. How can you boo Frankie? Even when Conor McGregor was ripping the entire 145 division he went light on Frankie. I'm repeating myself but again, I won't be too surprised if Yair wins this. He's got all the potential in the world, he's got the size, the reach, the speed, he's got youth on his side. And way, WAY less miles on the clock. Frankie's been in wars forever. His UFC debut against Tyson Griffin was a war and that was 10 years ago! Fuck, I feel old typing that. He's a soldier. Tough as shit. That's not going to last forever and even the most iron of chins will fade eventually. But I'm not seeing a decline in Edgar at all yet. And I think a lot of people are predicting this fight relying on Frankie suddenly looking old and worn out. I don't see it. I think this is too early for Yair myself. His reach and range is going to be the tricky challenge for Frankie to overcome but I think some are picking Yair based on a Frankie Edgar decline that doesn't exist. 

Edgar by decision 


Jotko vs Branch is a good way to open the PPV. It's understandably been overlooked on this card but this is a really solid fight. Branch's UFC return has been a long time coming really. He's looked great since his last UFC stint and has racked up a lot of wins. Jotko's no pushover though. This isn't a gimme to ease Branch back in at all. Jotko isn't a big name and he hasn't been featured too prominently on big cards so he's gone under the radar but he's a good fighter. I think Branch wins but I can see it being difficult. 

Branch by KO/TKO 


I think Alvarez vs Poirier is going to steal the show as far as actual fight quality and action goes. Can see this getting FOTN. I reckon Alvarez might try to go the safe route and wrestle a lot in this one but I think Poirier might surprise him. Poirier is active on the ground plus I can see him catching Alvarez coming in for takedowns. I think Alvarez will end up in a dogfight here whether that's the plan or not. Basically, I think it's going start out like Alvarez vs Pettis and end up like Alvarez vs Chandler. 

Alvarez by decision 


Skelly vs Knight is the most slept on fight on the entire card for me. I honestly think this also has legit FOTN potential. Skelly is scrappy as fuck, active with his grappling and dangerous with his submissions. He's from Texas as well so the crowd is going to be well into this. And Knight is always mega aggressive and he looked great stopping Bruce Leroy in his last fight. I really like this pairing, got a good feeling about it. 

Skelly by submission 

So my full predictions for this one...

Junior Dos Santos by KO/TKO 

Joanna Jedrzejczyk by decision 

Demian Maia by decision 

Frankie Edgar by decision 

David Branch by KO/TKO 

Eddie Alvarez by decision 

Chas Skelly by submission 

Rashad Coulter by KO/TKO 

James Vick by submission 

Jessica Aguilar by decision 

Gabriel Benitez by decision 

Gadzhimurad Antigulov by KO/TKO 

A lot of these are complete shot in the dark predictions, which to me is one of the marks of a good card when you could easily go either way on a lot of the fights. 

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I don't think the people picking against Edgar are necessarily doing so because they see a decline. I don’t believe there is one to see at the moment. I think they’re picking against Edgar because they know that at some point, that decline will happen, and they’re banking on today being the day. It’s going to happen eventually. The odds of it happening increase with each passing day and with each tough fight. And like in all cases, it’ll happen in the blink of an eye.

Full predictions;

Stipe Miocic by TKO
Jéssica Andrade by Decision
Demian Maia by Decision
Yair Rodríguez by Decision
David Branch by TKO
Eddie Alvarez by Decision
Chas Skelly by Decision
Rashad Coulter by TKO
James Vick by Submission
Courtney Casey by Decision
Gabriel Benítez by Submission
Gadzhimurad Antigulov by Submission

Edited by Noah Southworth

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Didnt realise Branch has been moved to the PPV, happy with that. He's been an absolute beast outside of the UFC, a strong combo of high level wrestling mixed with a submission game...can box too.

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The Heavyweight division finally gets a bit of consistency. Miocic still doesn't project an aura of invincibility like Fedor and Cain did - but he's done the business 3 times in a row now. That shin could have caught up with Miocic had the fight continued, but from the get-go, you got the feeling that it was going to be an early now. Miocic comes across as a likeable knucklehead. 

Edgar is the the lighter weight version of Hendo. He's in that spot where he fell slightly short against the division's kingpin (Aldo), and is perhaps a little undersized to be fighting in the weightclass above. However, his performances and resume are impressive enough, to where he is still an all-time great. He's probably somewhere between 6-8 in the all-time rankings. He doesn't have off-nights either. Even when he loses. he almost always puts forward a respectable showing. Tonight was yet another notch on his belt. 

Elsewhere, J.J is one of my favourite fighters to watch. Once she gets into her rhythm, she's is levels above her opponents. Those jabs, and jab feints were beautiful. I think she has the potential to become a bigger star than she already as well. Maia netted a well-deserved title shot. I agree with the decision. I was unaware that Maia was on the brink of tying the record for all-time most UFC wins. When that stat flashed up when he took the verdict, I was slightly taken aback. However, he has been around for almost a decade. I remember the hype when he made his UFC debut against Herman in 2008. I'm not a fan of Woodley, so I wouldn't mind if Maia beat him. 

Overall, it was a good watch. Well worth waking up at 3am for. 

Edited by jimufctna24

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Loved this. Pretty much all of it. 

Miocic vs JDS 2 though, that shit saddened me. Put a real downer on the end of the show. Hate seeing JDS get beat down. Huge credit to Miocic. I don't hate him but I don't find him as loveable as most seem to. He is a fucking animal though, no two ways about it. You look at his record now and he's pretty much perfect. Of his 2 losses he's avenged the JDS one emphatically. And I don't think there's any doubt how a rematch with Stefan Struve would go down.

He's almost cleaned out the division already as well, when you look at it. For the time being anyway. Maybe the likes of Derrick Lewis and Francis Ngannou will end up challenging him down the road. But he's finished Werdum, Overeem, JDS and Arlovski, all inside a round. And he battered Hunt into oblivion. These were convincing wins where rematches are probably going to be a way off. The only fresh contender who's already an established name really is Cain Velasquez. Can you imagine a Stipe Miocic vs Cain Velasquez fight with both on top form? Sadly, I'm not sure what Cain we'll be getting next time out. But I still find the idea of Stipe vs Cain very interesting. If Miocic adds Cain to his list of victims, fuck me, that's one of the best resumes in heavyweight history easy. 

Joanna Jedrzejczyk continues to be awesome. I've always been big on Andrade but after a round or so it just became clear that Joanna was on another level. Andrade was game and it seemed like she had the right idea - try to make it a brawl and try to grapple when you can. But Joanna was just too good, too sharp and too technical. 

I don't know what's next for Joanna. I think it's clear that the winner of Gadelha vs Kowalkiewicz is the most deserving. But if Gadelha wins, Joanna is already 2-0 over her. They were both close fights so I wouldn't be against a third, but it's not ideal. A Kowalkiewicz rematch if she wins would be good. Or maybe they go another direction and do Jedrzejczyk vs Namajunas or something. Some good fights out there but she's beating these girls quicker than they can build new contenders. 

I found Maia vs Masvidal very pleasing to watch. Masvidal was clearly the way better striker but we knew that anyway. He just couldn't keep it going on the feet long enough to really make it count. I had Maia winning all 3 rounds myself. He wasn't dominating the whole time but I felt like he did enough to take each round. Rogan banging on about Maia "controlling on the ground but he didn't come close to finishing" got tiresome quick. Yeah, he didn't nearly submit Masvidal. But Masvidal didn't have Maia in any significant bother on the feet either. He landed some good strikes but he didn't nearly KO Maia. So does that render his offence useless as well? I can see how someone might have a round for Masvidal in there but to me, Maia did more of what he wanted and for longer. Masvidal's best round was probably the second but even that I felt like Maia stole it from him. Would've been interesting to see how a 4th and 5th round would've played out. 

Edgar vs Rodriguez went kind of how I expected, but more dominant for Frankie than I thought it would be. Yair will be back. He's got time to bounce back from this and he'll learn from it. The sky's the limit for him. But I do think people got a bit carried away hyping him up. The hype was based off wins over lower-mid level guys...and BJ Penn's ghost. To go from that to Frankie fucking Edgar and expect him to do the same was a bit much IMO. And there seemed to be a vibe going in that Frankie was somehow old school or like the game had evolved past him or something. Even Yair said something like it being 'old vs new' or whatever. Strongly disagreed with that. Frankie's been around a long time but he's no relic, he's evolved as MMA has. If he hadn't he wouldn't still be able to school these young beasts. He fucked Yair up bad. Love Frankie.

I agree with Jim's comparison of him to Hendo as well. Spot on. Edgar is mini Hendo. Minus the one shot KO power but at least he can turn his head without moving his entire upper body. 

Really liked Frankie's post-fight interview as well. The Nick Catone shoutout about his kid dying was heartbreaking. What a horrible situation. He was class about Yair as well saying he's going to be a big star regardless. Frankie's a good egg. 

Thought Branch vs Jotko was shit. Shame as I had high hopes going in. It was the only poor fight on the show that I saw. Not the ideal way for Branch to make his comeback but a win is a win. 

Alvarez vs Poirier was well on its way to becoming a classic. I'd still have it as FOTN despite the unfortunate ending. Incredible action and drama with the back and forth rocking each other in round two. It was tremendous. Such a shame how it ended with the illegal knees. I don't think for one second that Alvarez was trying to be dirty. He's never been one for that stuff. I think he was still rocked and foggy headed, to be honest. He seemed to be going purely on autopilot and instinct. Never been the biggest Poirier fan but he was a class act post-fight which was cool to see. 

There's got to be a rematch. It's the easiest piece of matchmaking ever. Stick these two in a FOX or FS1 headliner for 5 rounds, sit back and enjoy. 

That's two PPVs in a row now we've had a controversy with the downed opponent/knees thing. This one was clearly a case of illegal knees being landed but something needs to be done. Either make knees on the ground legal so everyone knows what's what and knows to defend if you're in that position. Or have one universal rule about what constitutes a downed opponent. Is it one hand down, two hands down, what is it? Having it vary from state to state and commission to commission is too confusing. It makes the ref's already hard job more difficult and how are fighters supposed to be thinking about these stupid technicalities while they're in the heat of battle? Then all this 'did his hand come up as the knees was thrown?' bollocks. There's just too much grey area and room for error. 

Jason Knight looked great beating Chas Skelly. Really on point in his performance here. I thought Skelly might be too much for him but Knight really looks good lately. The Bruce Leroy sub, now this TKO over Skelly. Bit of a meathead but he's good fun to watch. 

Sherman vs Coulter was bags of fun too. Proper haymaker throwing, sloppy brawling goodness between two big heavyweight bastards. Really enjoyed it. Coulter was granite hard to absorb all that punishment. 

And James Vick's quick finish and spirited post-fight interview was good stuff too. Be interesting to see if he does get that bigger fight he's after now. He made a solid case for it. 

Excellent show. Best of the year so far, I reckon. On paper and in practice. 


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Joachim Christensen (204.5lbs) vs. Gadzhimurad Antigulov (204lbs) saw Antigulov completely dominate Christen, controlling him on the ground with little resistance or trouble, before gaining a first round submission with a rear naked choke.
Five Word Review: Dominant showing from rising prospect.

Gabriel Benítez (145.5lbs) vs. Enrique Barzola (146lbs) was a really good and very competitive fight. Benitez dominated the first round with striking and whilst Barzola took him down, Bentiez was able to get back up fairly quickly. In the second round, Barzola had much more success with his wrestling and he was the one dominating. Barzola had similar success in the third round and even had Benitez in trouble with a rear naked choke. However, Benitez was able to escape and get to his feet, and right at the endof the round, Benitez dropped Barzola. I had it 29-28 Barzola, because I didn’t think the knockdown was enough to cancel out Barzola’s previous domination of the third round. The judges seemed to agree as all three had the same score.
Five Word Review: An extremely entertaining lightweight scrap.

Jessica Aguilar (115lbs) vs. Cortney Casey (116lbs) saw Casey deliver a fairly one sided beating to Aguilar for all three rounds. Aguilar kept it competitive and she was always ‘in’ this fight, but at no point did you feel Casey was in any danger or being dominated or controlled. Casey bloodied Aguilar up something fierce late on and she looked really good en route to a unanimous decision victory.
Five Word Review: Casey with a striking clinic.

Marco Polo Reyes (154lbs) vs. James Vick (156lbs) kicked off the FS1 prelims with a decent if unspectacular one round fight.
Five Word Review: Home state hero comes good.

Chase Sherman (250lbs) vs. Rashad Coulter (241lbs) was the greatest sloppiest fight we’ve seen in a long time. It was a showcase for Sherman for the first round and a half; he destroyed the left leg of Coulter with kicks and was close to having it stopped. In the middle of the second round, though, Sherman got tired and combined with Coulter’s toughness, it allowed Coulter to get back in the fight, and he actually had Sherman in real trouble. But Sherman hung in there and fought back to get the win via knockout. Sherman looked good but obviously has things to work on, whilst Coulter, even though he lost, actually comes out with more buzz because of coming so close to making one of the great UFC comebacks.
Five Word Review: Crazy and sloppy heavyweight slugfest.

Chas Skelly (146lbs) vs. Jason Knight (146lbs) was another quality scrap, just a great back and forth battle. It was good standing up but was even better on the ground with some great scrambles and counters. Knight dropped Skelly late on and followed up with several more punches to get the win. The only downer was that the referee did his best Steve Mazzagatti impression in making the stoppage, because Skelly took several punches he shouldn’t have. But it’s Texas, so not a shocker to see at least one dodgy official on the card.
Five Word Review: The featherweights deliver; Knight shines.

Eddie Alvarez (156lbs) vs. Dustin Poirier (156lbs) was another fight that turned into a fantastic scrap, with Poirier having Alvarez in serious trouble in the second round and Alvarez managing to fight back and make a real go of things. Unfortunately, the fight ended on a real sour note, with Alvarez landing a pair of illegal knees to Poirier on the ground, causing the fight to be stopped. Herb Dean was the referee and he seemed to blow the call, as it looked like he didn’t realize that they were fighting under the old unified rules; the fight should have been stopped after Alvarez hit the first knee, because it was illegal under the old rules, the rules in use for this event, but it kept going and Alvarez hit a second knee that was illegal under both the old and the new rules.

It sucks that the fight ended like it did because this was another great scrap, which is the theme of the night so far. Herb ruled the fight a no contest because Alvarez didn’t hear the warning Herb apparently gave, and it also looks like the first knee being illegal was similar to the Mousasi-Weidman situation in that it’s so close to tell, perhaps impossible as it was going on. However it ends up, not a good night for Herb.

In any event, a disappointing ending and I hope we get a rematch and that it happens where the new rules are in effect.
Five Word Review: Great scrap but disappointing ending.

Krzysztof Jotko (185lbs) vs. Dave Branch (185lbs) was a rather uneventful fight, very pedestrian in comparison to the previous fights. Neither Jotko nor Branch impressed or otherwise stood out. Branch edged the win by split decision but it was a win in the loosest sense of the word because he gained absolutely nothing from it.
Five Word Review: This was a real snoozer.

Frankie Edgar (145.5lbs) vs. Yair Rodríguez (146lbs) was a fight that saw Yair face the biggest test of his career. The first round saw Frankie take Yair down and hand out a real beating, giving Yair a nasty swollen eye, that his corner didn’t really deal with between rounds. The second round saw Frankie take Yair down again, and whilst Yair almost had Frankie in a knee bar, Frankie defended well and  wound up delivering more ground and pound for the remainder of the round. The fight was called off between rounds as Yair’s left eye was swollen shut and he couldn’t see. Yair was tested and didn’t entirely fail, but the gulf in ability between the two was huge. Yair goes back to the drawing board and Frankie may be in line for the winner of Aldo and Holloway, depending on who wins that one.
Five Word Review: ‘The Answer’ left no questions.

Demian Maia (170.5lbs) vs. Jorge Masvidal (171lbs) was expected to revolve around the fact of whether Maia could get Masvidal down to the ground. The first round did, Maia could get Masvidal down, and whilst Masvidal got up, Maia was on his back and had his legs around Masvidal’s waist in a figure-four. They were pressed against the fence, which meant Maia could stay in that position, which Masvidal couldn’t seem escape from, though he was able to fend off the choke attempts Maia made. Right near the end of the ground, Masvidal did escape and actually had top position and was landing punches as the round ended.

The second round was more for Masvidal as Maia seemed to have tired himself, especially his legs, with his efforts to control Masvidal in the first round. Around the half way point, things changed with Maia able to get top position on Masvidal. Maia kept control of Masvidal, even when Masvidal was able to stand, but he couldn’t seem to do much.

The third round saw not much happen for the first half, then Maia managed to get Masvidal down and have his back. This time, they were on the ground, and Maia was giving Masvidal fits as he worked for the rear naked choke. Maia never had Masvidal in trouble but Masvidal couldn’t escape and was controlled for the remainder of the round.

I scored it 29-28 for Maia, giving Maia the first and third rounds. Even though Masvidal ended the first round with a flourish, apart from that flourish, the first round was entirely Maia’s. I don’t think what Masvidal did was enough to counter Maia’s dominance, so I gave Maia the round. The judges gave it to Maia by split decision, who went right over to Dana White and seemed to demand his title fight because Dana said “You got it.”. Maia confirmed this in the post match interview, and with Rogan outright saying the next time they see Maia he’ll be facing Tyron Woodley, it has to assure Maia of getting his title fight. At least I hope it does because he has long since earned it.
Five Word Review: Maia affirms title challenge credentials.

Joanna Jędrzejczyk (c) (115lbs) vs. Jéssica Andrade (114.5lbs) was a tale of two fights. When it was a close quarters brawl, Jéssica dominated with her power and even managed to throw Joanna around with some big Cormier-like slams. When it was technical, when things were at a distance, Joanna dominated with speed and movement. Unfortunately for Jéssica, much of this contest was fought at a distance. Joanna was too fast and technical, too quick on her feet for Jéssica to make use of her power and strength. Jéssica showed a lot of heart because she kept coming forward and never slowed down, but she just couldn’t counter the speed and technique of Joanna. Joanna ended up with a big mouse above her right eye, which she got in the first round and grew in size over all five rounds.
Five Word Review: Joanna remains the strawweight queen.

Stipe Miocic (c)  (246lbs) vs. Junior dos Santos (245lbs) was short and explosive whilst it lasted. JDS landed two leg kicks on Miocic and the champion was quickly limping, with his leg swelling up pretty quickly. JDS couldn’t make it count and he was constantly having to circle away from the fence as he kept backing up to it. Stipe kept catching JDS because of this, despite noticeably limping, and he cracked JDS with a great right hand, dropping JDS, and it was over in just 2:22. It was sad to see JDS finished like this, though not a surprise, and it’s hard to know what to do with JDS because he’s at that stage where he’s still good enough to knock off potential contenders but clearly not at the top level and not going to beat the big guns anymore.
Five Word Review: Stipe serves up some revenge.

Despite a couple of rough patches, UFC 211 was a great night of action. We had exciting brawls, exciting sloppy brawls, technical battles, both on the ground and standing up, and it ended with the cementing of Stipe Miocic as the heavyweight king. UFC 211 warrants a big thumbs up.

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"Too fucking EASY!" you aren't wrong, Stipe. No idea what JDS was playing at. DC called it and JDS decided to revert back to his worst habit. Poor JDS, but Stipe has a shout for best ever heavyweights now - a win against Cain and it’s hard to dispute he's in the conversation.

It's always three rounds in, when Joanna's worked out her opponent and is mauling them, I again appreciate I'm watching someone incredibly special. No doubt Andrade is double tough, but it was never close. You always worried about the power, but Joanna was too clever and fast to ever get caught with anything too devastating. It's a shame Joanna isn't blessed with power, because if she was you could make a solid argument she's the greatest striker in the sports history, instead of just one of them.

I was terrified the judges were going to get it wrong and decide some punches were superior to  domination on the ground. Thankfully Maia won. Masvedal's defence is to be applauded, because he did about as good as anyone in the UFC could hope for when Maia has their back. Never has a fighter deserved a title shot more than Maia.

The ref did Yair a solid. It was always a big question going into this, whether or not Yair could make the step up, we got the answer (waka waka). Two 10-8s, for me, and there was no way it wasn't going to be another. Frankie was too experienced, clever and good for any of Yair's flashy telegraphed offence. An absolute doing, this. Class all the way, is Frankie.

Branch fight was a nothing. The highlight was after the fact seeing Robbie Lawler. Quite the come down from the previous fights. On that note…

The prelims were fantastic. Definitely go have a look, if you haven't already.

Sherman v Coulter had one of the best rounds you'll see this year in the 2nd. 1st round Sherman was mauling Coulter with leg kicks. Come the 2nd Coulter only had one leg and got caught with a knee early, but the crazy bugger somehow managed to overcome all that to very nearly finish Sherman, as the pair of them starting going all "Just Bleed" on each other. Both men were knackered, but Sherman managed to end it with a perfect and brutal elbow.

Skelly v Knight was another good scrap. First round featured some all-action ground work, which is always fun to watch. The referee had a bit of a shocker for the finish, as he let the punches on the ground go on too long and then let Skelly get up right after it without holding him, which meant Skelly very nearly fell on his arse again because his balance was still off.
Knight reminds me of Jamie Noble.

Fizzing the illegal knee ruined what was turning out to be a fantastic fight in the prelim main. It's probably a rule that needs to get looked at because two is plenty. It's a position that is almost impossible to call right in the heat of a fight too, so I don't really fault Herb. Eddie is a dirty bastard for the second knee though.

Well, at least we may get a rematch soon enough.

One fight a side, it lived up to the hype.

Edited by ColinBollocks

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Junior's post fight presser where he's asked about taking time off with his new daughter nearly made me tear up. We keep saying it, but he's such a wonderful guy. Immediately following the fight, I was hoping he'd retire. The Cain losses and his other wars seemingly diminished him beyond what he once was, but he spoke a lot of sense here post fight. Honest to a fault, but head still very much in the game 

Miocic, JJ and Edgar were superb individually, as were the prelims. I'm glad Maia is finally getting the deserved title shot. The Dave Branch fight was the shit in a glorious sandwich. The greatness of the rest of the card just highlighted how poor a fight that was. 

Great show overall though.

Edited by Silky Kisser

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Is it just me that thinks Miocic isn't getting nearly half the praise he deserves? He's got to be around the #2 or #3 spot pound-for-pound at the moment, surely? That's 4 knockout victories on the bounce, all of them coming within the first round. He's flattened Arlovski, Werdum, Overeem and JDS in just over 12 minutes. That's complete madness! He looked superb last night as well, he's currently fighting with such swagger and confidence it's hard to imagine anyone in that division knocking him off his perch at the moment. I genuinely think I'd have him beating Cain at this rate too. The man is on fire. Sad to see JDS finished in that way though. Allowed himself to get pressured and forced back against the fence with nowhere to run, and ends up getting walloped by a bulldozer of a right hand. I thought it was a late stoppage as well from Herb Dean, there wasn't a chance JDS was coming back from that.

Joanna is a joy to watch. She felt first hand what Andrade had to offer, made adjustments after getting hit with a big strike and breezed through the rest of the fight. The pop she gets on her jab is reminiscent to prime GSP, and the fluidity of her combinations makes her a nightmare to prevent from smacking you. She's just far too quick, far too precise and far too talented to get caught by the bull-rush of Andrade after the first couple of rounds. 

Edited by AdamTH17

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I think Cain would give Stipe a serious test. We’ve never seen Stipe against top class wrestler, so we don’t know what kind of takedown defence Stipe has. And if Cain is relatively injury free, which admittedly is a big ask, we’d also see what kind of gas tank Stipe has because Cain would be pushing the pace the whole time. Whilst Stipe has gone over twenty minutes before, he’s never done so against someone with the cardio of Cain. Stipe against Cain would not only be a great fight but it would give the answers to a lot of questions that have yet to be asked of Stipe.

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Stipe's had plenty of serious tests and questions asked, he's knocked them all out. No doubt Cain is probably his hardest foe, but I don't think Stipe has anything to prove. He's just equaled Cain's defence record, and did so by finishing the best heavyweights in history - arguably his wins are far more impressive than Cain's record best 2012-2015 run.

Honestly, I think more questions need answered on the Cain side than the Stipe one, seeing as Cain's only had 3 fights in 4 years as his body is starting to fall apart.

As a legacy fight, it's huge for both men because Stipe winning means he's definitely in that "best ever" conversation (I think he's there already), but Cain winning solidifies his position as the greatest heavyweight ever.

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Anyone catch the Joanna Jedrzejczyk bit of the post-fight presser yet? Helwani asked her a question about her coach leaving ATT and she started crying and left the stage. Never seen her like that before. 

Edited by wandshogun09

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